January 19, 2019

Go Green for Winter

1. Close the vents in rooms you don’t use Closing the vents in less utilized rooms such as guest rooms or storage rooms is an easy way to go green at home during the chillier months. This small adjustment helps efficiently redirect air (and heat) to the rooms where you spend most of your time, keeping you warm, and your heating bill low. Best of all, it only takes a second and doesn’t cost a dime!  

2. Wrap windows and look for air leaks It’s common for cold drafts of air to make their way inside during the colder months, especially in older homes with single pane windows. A good solution is covering your windows with a layer of film – it adds insulation and minimizes the amount of cold air that can get in. You can buy a winter insulation kit at your local hardware store, or better yet, use that leftover bubble wrap from the holidays to cover your windows. Don’t forget to look for leaks in other parts of your home like floors, doors, recessed lighting, and unfinished cabinets. Anywhere you can block cold air from entering, the better chance you have of reducing your winter energy bill.

3. Use a space heater Smaller, single floor homes can save energy by using a space heater instead of a central heating system. A space heater is a portable heating unit that generally runs on electricity and serves as an instant source of heat. Similar to closing vents in rooms you don’t utilize, using a space heater is a great way to go green at home during the winter as it lets you heat only the rooms you spend time in. Do make sure to buy a space heater with the proper safety features, including auto-shutoff when it is tipped over or when the unit overheats. And, of course, never leave it on while unattended.  

4. Pull out that humidifier As you think about how to go green at home, a humidifier may not be something that initially comes to mind. However, humidifiers are key to keeping the air in your home comfortable while the heater is running. Additionally, the moist air created by a humidifier holds heat in better – allowing you to turn your thermostat down to a lower setting. So if you want to alleviate your home’s dry air, and save energy, a humidifier may be the perfect solution to help you go green at home this season!GG

Go Green for Thanksgiving

Go Green for Thanksgiving

How about having a green, eco-friendly Thanksgiving celebration this year, and doing your small bit to help Mother Nature in the process. Here are some easy tips to have a green Thanksgiving, and to vindicate that you care. Remember to share this page in your social site networks.

1. Plant a tree:

It may seem very trivial at first, but it is one of the best you can do to help nature. If you do not have your own garden, organize a tree planting festival at a public garden taking the required permissions, or at an interested friend’s garden. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, about 26 pounds a year, and gives enough oxygen a family of four may need in an year to survive.


2. Shop for locally grown items

Try to shop for food items that are packed within 100 miles of your place of consumption. This is will ensure lesser traveling of the ingredients, and hence less carbon print.


3. Go Organic

Organic is the way to grow. Shop for organic food (the package should announce it), or organically fed turkeys, or both. They are a tad expensive, but you are making a big difference and are also buying healthier food.


4. Celebrate at home

This will ensure less traveling and hence less pollution. Also invite your neighbors for a joint celebration and multiply the good effect.


5. Cook as per requirement

Remember what happened last year. You had a host of leftovers. Use that experience, and cook judicious amounts, so that there is less waste. Do not store the leftovers; instead feed them to people and animals who needs them. You will have the double benefit: the pleasure of feeding the hungry and not using the refrigerator and saving on electricity consumption.


6. Vegetarian Thanksgiving:

If you can withstand the lure of roasted turkey, then this is a very good option, both for your health and for nature.


7. Reuse, Recycle

Recycle as if there is no tomorrow, and reuse as much as possible.



Although leaf blowers may seem cool and convenient, they are extremely polluting, and much less green than simply raking fallen leaves the old-fashioned way.

In one year’s time, that little leaf blower engine you hear buzzing up the street pumps out as much smog-forming pollution as 80 cars, each driven 12,500 miles, according to a California air quality agency. Fortunately, regulators have taken notice, and are encouraging manufacturers and the buying public to upgrade to newer, cleaner (as well as quieter) models. But it is still cleanest of all to hand out the rakes.

Raking leaves is a simple task that can be shared by the whole family, and it’s a good way to get some exercise while enjoying the crisp autumn air. Why not reward your helpers with a steaming cup of fair trade cocoa or mulled local cider?

Caring for Creation: October Green Tip

Should I Reheat My Home or Keep it Warm?


Hey Mr. Green,

In your book, Hey Mr. Green, you say that it takes more energy to maintain a constant temperature at home than to lower the heat at night and crank it back up in the morning. My neighbor claims that keeping a constant warm temperature is better because reheating takes more energy. What’s the truth?

I stand by all of my book’s myriad words of wisdom—

But to your question: Maintain a constant indoor temperature and you’re heating not just your home but also the great outdoors. Heat is constantly lost, especially through doors and windows; the warmer it remains inside, the more heat escapes. It’s a law of thermodynamics, the same principle that makes tank water heaters less efficient than on-demand models.

This is why it takes less energy to reheat a house in a short time than to keep it warm all the time, and why energy-conservation organizations like the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimate a 2% savings on heating bills for each degree you lower the thermostat for eight hours at a time.

(Mr. Green is Bob Schildgen – a columnist for Sierra Magazine and has a book titled “Hey Mr. Green” published in 2008)



Earth Day – Every Day

You Can Make a Difference!

Caring for Creation: September Green Tip

September’s Green Tip

Waste-free Lunches


It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school.

Understanding the Problem

The Typical Lunch:

If you walk around at lunchtime and take a good look at the lunches our children bring to school, here’s what the typical lunch will look like:

  • sandwiches in disposable plastic bags
  • fruits and vegetables in plastic bags
  • prepackaged chips, cookies, fruit bars, granola bars, cheeses, and fruit leathers
  • single-use yogurts, applesauces, and puddings
  • crackers, pretzels, chips, and other snack foods sealed in plastic bags
  • disposable juice boxes, juice pouches, juice cans, water bottles, and milk cartons
  • plastic forks and spoons
  • paper napkins
  • reusable lunchboxes and disposable paper and plastic bags

A Waste-free Lunch:

  • sandwiches and other main dishes, fresh fruits and, fresh vegetables, and treats in a reusable lunch container or containers
  • cloth napkins
  • stainless-steel forks and spoons
  • reusable drink containers
  • reusable lunchboxes

In this scenario very little trash is generated because foods are bought in bulk or in larger packages. The packaging is left at home for reuse or recycling. Food waste also decreases because with a reusable lunch container, children can re-pack uneaten food instead of dumping it, packaging and all, into the school trash can.


Earth Day – Every Day

You Can Make a Difference!